Winter Weather Austin Pest Control Mice & Rodent Check-Up

Written By: Admin

Archive For: December 2012

Category Name: pest control

With the temperatures falling as winter wanes on, rodents and other unwanted pests will be searching for ways to get inside where it’s warm.  With a few preventative steps you can make it more difficult for them to find their way inside your home or business.  A winter weather pest check-up will ensure that mice and other rodents stay outside where they belong.

In addition to being pests, rodents can contaminate indoor spaces with their droppings.  In their search for food and nesting supplies, they will chew through food packages and paper products, making a mess wherever they go.  They can chew through wiring, causing serious damage and creating a fire hazard.

The first step in performing a winter weather pest check-up is to thoroughly examine the exterior of your home or business.  Vents and ventilation openings are ideal spots for mice to crawl inside.  Make sure all gaps are sealed with screens or steel wool.  Also examine every location where a utility enters your dwelling.  Mice can squeeze through very small openings, so it’s important to examine even the smallest of holes.

Your HVAC unit is another spot that’s a favorite place for rodents to maneuver their way inside.  Where the unit meets the ground is generally on a concrete slab and is a favorable spot for mice and other rodents.  Be sure to look underneath the unit for any place there is a passageway inside and seal all openings well.

Check the bottom of your garage or utility doors for gaps.  If the seal is weathered it may need to be replaced in order to form a proper barrier.  Once mice enter your garage, the opportunities are endless for them to work their way inside your business.  They often make their way to the hot water heater where it’s warm, and from there will make their way indoors through the openings surrounding the heater.

If you enjoy feeding birds and squirrels in the wintertime, you may also be attracting mice and other unwanted rodents.  Keep feeders far away from the building to discourage mice from feeding and then making their way indoors.  Wood storage piles are prime hiding spots for mice and rodents, so stack wood as far away from your home as possible.

By taking a few precautions, you’ll make your home or business less welcoming to unwanted mice and other rodents.  If you find that your pest problem is more than you are able to handle on your own,  please call one of our pest control experts for a consultation.  We’re happy to help.

5 Tips to Keep Your Holidays Free of Unwanted Pests

Written By: Admin

Archive For: November 2012

Category Name: pest control

It’s that time of year again.  Cool weather, warm fires and guests.  While most of us welcome guests into our homes at this time of year, some come uninvited.   They creep and crawl their way indoors and make themselves at home almost undetected.   By making your home less appealing, you’ll make Austin pest control easier and your holidays more enjoyable.

How to keep bugs out?           

1.  Remove Food & Water

Diligent cleaning, especially in the kitchen, is your best defense against pesky mice and cockroaches.  A small amount of spilled food will attract bugs if left unattended.  Store food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator to ensure it’s not accessible to pests.  Leaky faucets provide a readily available water source and should be repaired immediately.

2. Remove Shelter

Bugs and rodents need places to hide.  By keeping your home free of clutter and unneeded objects you limit their opportunities for shelter.   In addition, if they do find their way in you’ll notice them sooner, which will make dealing with your Texas bug problem a lot easier.

3.  Make Entry Difficult

As the weather cools down, bugs will attempt to make their way indoors for better living conditions.  Control pests in Austin homes by keeping screens repaired and weatherproofing your windows and doors.  Sealing cracks and gaps on the exterior of your house will prevent mice and rats from coming indoors. [Source:  UACALS]

4.  Turn Off the Lights

Bugs are attracted to the warmth that light provides.  In Texas, bed bugs and spiders are most active at night and providing them additional warmth will compound your bug problems. [Source: InsectID]  Use small nightlights if you need illumination at night and keep larger lights like lamps and porch lights turned off.

How to control an existing bug problem?

If you already have a bug problem that is too invasive to correct yourself, you’ll need the expertise of a specialist trained in pest control.  Texas has a wonderful climate, but even bugs want warm refuge for the winter.   An Austin pest control professional can do a thorough evaluation and effectively cure your bug problem quickly.  During the busy holiday season the last thing you want to deal with is unwanted visitors, so make your home less inviting to pests and call an Austin pest control expert if necessary.

Common Pest Problems in Austin

Written By: Admin

Archive For: October 2012

Category Name: pest control

As the saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and the variety of pests that invade the homes and other residential areas near Austin is no different. From parasitic insects such as bed bugs and termites to warm-blooded nuisances like bats and raccoons, folks in the south have lots of critters who like to take up residence in not so favorable places. Fortunately for them, Austin pest control services have a host of remedies for curing the common pest problem.

Bed Bugs and Fleas

These aggravating antagonists often live in your mattress, carpet and clothing, not to mention in furniture or inside the walls of your home. As these bugs thrive in warm, dark places, Austin provides the perfect weather for a bed bug or flea family. With their taste for blood, they live near a human or animal host. If fleas or bed bugs are in your house, you might notice small, itchy bites on exposed skin as well as excrement from the pests in your mattress or sheets. Once an infestation starts, it’s hard to contain, but with the help of a good pest control service, the problem is not impossible to solve.

Termites

Subterranean termites are the most common cellulose-ingesting insects, doing more monetary damage to wooden structures per year than floods and fires combined! These tiny insects can often be found burrowing and eating their way through the wooden beams supporting your house’s frame. As they do their dirty work from the inside out, home owners may not notice their presence until the damage is done. Thus, it is smart to have pest control, Austin-based service or private, take a look at a building site before it’s too late.

Rodents

Another pest frequently known to pay a visit is the rodent. Raccoons, mice, rats, bats, squirrels and opossums like to find a warm place to nest for their babies in such places as your attic or crawl space. For example, raccoons are notorious for their ability to get into trash cans as well as sheds and garages. All it takes is a small hole for them to climb into, a whiff of food, and suddenly, your garbage is all over the yard before it can be picked up.

What’s the Secret to Pest Control, Austin or Anywhere?

Local pest control (Austin) services are your best bet to resolving a bug or rodent problem. Luckily, there are several forms of pest control. Austin is home to all sorts of critters, therefore, you have plenty of pest control options, from non-poisonous traps to removal of animal waste, or even bed bug canine inspections that use dogs’ keep sense of smell to seek out insect infestations.  If you don’t live near Austin, you can still find pest control. Austin is just one of several major cities to be served by the best pest control experts around, whom will often travel as far as Houston, Dallas or even San Antonio to get the job done.

US Epidemic: Bed Bugs

Written By: Admin

Archive For: October 2012

Category Name: bed bugs

Each year the number of bed bugs in the US rises.  It is difficult to go a day without hearing about these dreaded bugs.  It is difficult to pinpoint a cause for the sudden recurrence, but some theories include:  increased international and cross country travel, the banning of certain pesticides, and resistance to pesticides.

What are the worst US locations for bed bugs?

According to a recent article by ABC News, the top 50 cities in the US for occurrences and treatments of bed bugs for 2012 are as follows:

1. Cincinnati
2. Chicago
3. Detroit (+1)
4. Denver (+2)
5. Los Angeles (+20)
6. Columbus, Ohio (-3)
7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (+43)
8. Washington, D.C. (-3)
9. New York (-2)
10. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+6)
11. Houston (-1)
12. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif. (+35)
13. Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio (+1)
14. Boston (+4)
15. Dayton, Ohio (-7)
16. Las Vegas (-1)
17. Honolulu (+55)
18. Baltimore (-6)
19. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+9)
20. Philadelphia (-9)
21. Atlanta (+24)
22. Lexington, Ky. (-13)
23. Syracuse, N.Y. (+25)
24. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (+27)
25. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (+19)
26. San Diego (+13)
27. Seattle/Tacoma, Wash. (-3)
28. Omaha, Neb. (-11)
29. Buffalo, N.Y. (-16)
30. Pittsburgh (-3)
31. Indianapolis (-12)
32. Milwaukee (+6)
33. Charlotte, N.C. (+13)
34. Phoenix (+19)
35. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
36. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-16)
37. Grand Junction/Montrose, Colo. (+30)
38. Knoxville, Tenn. (+4)
39. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. (-17)
40. Nashville, Tenn. (+15)
41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+24)
42. Des Moines/Ames, Iowa (-13)
43. Salisbury, Md. (+46)
44. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-23)
45. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (-22)
46. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (-20)
47. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (-17)
48. Salt Lake City (-8)
49. Charleston/Huntington, W.Va. (-13)
50. West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Fla. (+6)

*+/- numbers in parenthesis reflect movement in rankings from previous year.

Austin is not on this list so, why does this concern me in Austin?

Not being on this list is great but does not mean that beg bugs are not a problem or a potential threat in Austin.  Bed bugs travel on clothes, suitcases and other belongings when we travel both in and out of the US.  They are remarkable resilient bugs.  Traveling as close as Dallas, which went from #50 to #7 in one year, could bring bed bugs.  Austin is not safe from this epidemic.  Quick treatment and smart travel is essential to controlling bed bugs.  Austin doesn’t have to make this list.

I’m going to one of these cities, how do I prevent bringing bed bugs home?

Before traveling anywhere, check reviews for all locations you will be staying.  A great resource is also http://www.bedbugregistry.com.  This site enables to you to search by city for reports of bed bugs.  Austin and other major cities across the US are easily accessible.

If you think you have returned home with bed bugs, Austin offers great pest control options.  There are even “green” options to eradicate bed bugs.  Austin can stay off this list permanently if its residents are proactive with controlling and reporting incidences of bed bug infestation.

Austin Pest Control For Your Home Or Business

Written By: Admin

Archive For: October 2012

Category Name: pest control

Texas offers a year-round, warm climate that encourages the nonstop growth of pest populations, a pervasive problem that frequently requires the services of a professional Austin pest control company. Experienced exterminators equipped with the necessary tools and pesticides will come to your home, perform a thorough inspection and determine the severity of the infestation in order to develop an effective treatment plan. Home, apartment, hotel and other business owners who neglect a pest infestation or choose to treat the infestation with inadequate home remedies are only contributing to the problem by allowing the pests to continue reproducing.

Two types of biting ants frequently infest Texas dwellings that require applications of pesticides only provided by an Austin pest control company.  The odorous house ant (also called “stink ant”) is capable of building large nests within basements, walls and attics that can house over 20,000 ants along with several queens that constantly lay eggs. Odorous house ants are black or dark brown and present a strong smell of decaying coconuts when crushed. They love sweet foods and will easily find sugar containers, candy or bakery items left out on kitchen counters.

Another sugar-loving ant that an Austin pest control company is often hired to exterminate is the Pharaoh ant, a potentially dangerous insect due to their propensity to carry pathogens such as salmonella, staph and clostridium, a type of bacteria causing botulism. Although they do not bite like the stink ant, they are considered much more of a health hazard and need exterminated immediately. Pharaoh ants especially like warm areas and are often found wandering around light sockets and baseboards that tend to absorb external heat.

Referred to as silverfish because they are wingless, silver in color and have soft bodies, these nocturnal pests prefer to eat flour, paper, glue and oats and are known to inflict serious damage to wall paper and clothing. Although silverfish are not harmful to human health, anyone with a silverfish infestation should call an Austin pest control business to avoid costly property destruction and food contamination.

Even more destructive than silverfish are dry wood termites, a type of termite that does not require a water source or soil moisture to thrive and reproduce. Infestations of dry wood that remains above ground by these termites is particularly insidious because detection of dry wood termites is difficult, resulting in the establishment of extensive and sometimes irreversible damage by the time the termites are found. Owners of dwellings with a dry wood termite infestation should not spend the time trying to bait termites in an attempt to eliminate them. Instead, an Austin pest control company experienced in eradicating dry wood termites should be contacted immediately to start injecting powerfully effective insecticides into infestation areas.

Unfortunately,one common pest that just about every Texan has encountered at some point is the American cockroach. Roaches as big as two inches are frequently seen in all areas of Texas roaming both abandoned and inhabited buildings. They can rapidly infest any building, regardless of the dwelling’s condition or cleanliness level and are one of the most difficult pests to completely exterminate. Cockroach infestations definitely need the assistance of an Austin pest control service in order to eliminate these pests permanently.